A timeline of Congo's latest deadly Ebola virus outbreak

A timeline of Congo's latest deadly Ebola virus outbreak
In this photograph taken Saturday July 13, 2019, an health worker wearing protective suits enters an isolation pod to treat a patient at a treatment center in Beni, Congo DRC. The head of the World Health Organization is convening a meeting of experts Wednesday July 17, 2019 to decide whether the Ebola outbreak should be declared an international emergency after spreading to eastern Congo's biggest city, Goma, this week. More than 1,600 people in eastern Congo have died as the virus has spread in areas too dangerous for health teams to access.(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The latest deadly Ebola outbreak in Congo is now an international emergency , the World Health Organization announced Wednesday. Here’s a timeline of key events since this outbreak, now the second deadliest of Ebola in history, was declared almost a year ago in a region described as a war zone.


Aug. 1: The outbreak is declared in northeastern Congo’s North Kivu province, a turbulent region where dozens of rebel groups are active.

Aug. 8: The first of scores of thousands of vaccinations begin with an experimental but effective vaccine.

Sept. 5: Congo says the outbreak spreads to Butembo, a city of more than 1 million people.

Oct. 2: Red Cross workers are attacked by community members in an early sign of resistance to Ebola response efforts in a region where the virus had never been recorded before.

Oct. 17: After an emergency expert meeting, the World Health Organization says it is “deeply concerned” but the outbreak is not a global emergency.

Nov. 29: WHO says this is now the second largest Ebola outbreak in history with 426 cases.

Dec. 26: Congo bars people in key Ebola-affected areas from voting in the presidential election, sparking anger and feeding rumors that the outbreak is a political ploy.

Feb. 24: Assailants attack an Ebola treatment center in Katwa, killing one caretaker and leading aid group Doctors Without Borders within days to suspend operations there and in Butembo.

April 12: After a second emergency meeting, WHO says the outbreak is not yet a global emergency.

April 19: Attackers storm a hospital in Butembo and kill a WHO epidemiologist.

May 3: Congo’s health ministry says more than 1,000 people have died in the outbreak.

June 4: The outbreak surpasses 2,000 confirmed Ebola cases.

June 11: Uganda announces its first confirmed Ebola case in this outbreak.

June 14: After a third emergency meeting, WHO says the outbreak is not yet a global emergency.

July 14: Congo’s health ministry confirms the first Ebola case in Goma, a city of more than 2 million people on the Rwandan border.

July 17: After a fourth expert meeting, WHO declares an international emergency. More than 1,600 people have died since the outbreak began.